Korean-Australian to be honored for helping war veterans
Posted : 2013-06-27 18:56
Updated : 2013-06-27 18:56
By Kwon Ji-youn
A Korean-Australian will win a medal from the Australian government for helping Australian war veterans who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War.
Kim Tae-hong, 59, will receive the Medal of the Order of Australia for his efforts in building a monument for the war veterans and for founding a business to encourage war veterans to visit Korea, according to the Australian government.
"The Korean population in Australian is a minority among minorities," Kim said. "I am pleased because my medal will upgrade our nation's status one notch."
In 1987, he left for Australia, where he worked at Toyota before jumping in to the architecture business.
He has been an active member of the Korea Veterans Association since 1990, and served as the president of the Australian branch three terms in a row. He is currently president of the Oceania branch of the Korea Freedom Federation.
He is the fourth Korean to win the order. However, he is the first Korean to receive the order in the military category. The three previous winners won in the general category.
The Medal of the Order of Australia is known to be difficult to receive. Nominees must undergo an intense screening process, including a four-year crosscheck and an individual interview.
"Some 5,000 war veterans survived the war," Kim said. "But those who live in rural areas are neglected. I have been trying to help those veterans visit Korea once again."
He added, "Some 600 veterans have revisited Korea. They are proud of how quickly Korea was reborn from its ruins."